Oct 6, 2022 - News

What to do and eat at the State Fair of Texas

A Chismosa is the better version of a mimosa. Photo: Tasha "Chismo" Tsiaperas/Axios

We visited the State Fair of Texas to see if all the new foods and activities live up to the hype.

  • Of course we also had to satisfy our craving for a Fletcher's corny dog.

Why it matters: Fair season is one of our favorite times of the year, but it lasts just 24 days.

By the numbers: Because we took the train to the fair, we could use a DART discount that takes off $5 admission on weekdays and $7 on weekends.

  • Coupons cost $1 each, and you'll need them for food and rides.
  • We bought $125 worth of coupons to see how far they'd go.

Be smart: The food and activities are spread out around the fairgrounds, so grab a map and plan your route based on what you want to eat or do.

Here's how we spent our coupons.

Fair foods taste test

Regular hydration: Water bottles are 2 coupons each. You can also bring your own if you want.

Fletcher's: We don't take the word "iconic" lightly, but these corny dogs deserve that designation. They've been at the fair since 1942.

  • We got the bird dogs, which are 7 coupons each.

Cha-Cha Chata: This horchata milkshake was one of the best things we tried all day. The drink was so popular, the vendor went through a 5-gallon bucket of ice cream in just five hours on opening day.

  • 16 coupons and shareable.
Still dreaming of this Cha-Cha Chata. Photo: Naheed Rajwani-Dharsi/Axios

Chismosa: This alcoholic goodness is a twist on the mimosa, an icy blend of champagne and orange juice with a chamoy and Tajín rim.

  • 12 coupons.

Pickle pizza: Our friends at Axios Twin Cities warned us about this controversial fair offering, and Tasha was brave enough to give it a try. "I'm surprised, this is good," she said after trying it.

  • 10 coupons for two slices.
Finally, a mess-free way to enjoy honey. Photo: Tasha Tsiaperas/Axios

Deep-fried honey: This one surprised us, too, because it wasn't overly sweet or too runny. The dish supports a good cause; the honey comes from Rescue Bee Ranch.

  • 12 coupons.

Deep-fried lasagna roll: We had high hopes for this one given the high cost but agreed that it's worth skipping.

  • 20 tickets.

Other things to do

Pray a little for the upcoming season while you're here. Photo: Naheed Rajwani-Dharsi/Axios

It's difficult to squeeze everything at the state fair into one visit, and every time we go, we end up discovering something new.

Why it matters: The fair isn't just about food. It also has chef showcases, creative arts competitions, test drives, live performances and rodeo events.

  • All are included with your fair ticket.

Our picks: The Hall of State building's new Mavs Vault exhibit features the team's history, along with the 2011 championship trophy. Be sure to check the surprisingly detailed LEGO model of the American Airlines Center just outside the exhibit.

  • The building also houses a Dallas Historical Society exhibit with the original Juneteenth document, items from football great Tom Landry's family, and papers belonging to Dallas ISD's first Black administrator.

Yes, but: If you're willing to dish out extra money, here are other experiences worth a try.

  • The swan boats weren't initially on our itinerary, but spending 7 coupons per person to pedal around a shaded pond was the perfect reprieve from stuffing our faces.
  • Going for a spin on the 212-foot Texas Star Ferris Wheel is basically a rite of passage. The ride costs 12 coupons per person.

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